Latitude celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in style last weekend, the festival held at Henham Park in Suffolk was bathed in sunshine for the entire weekend and welcomed an eclectic mix of music, comedy, poetry, film and theatre. Wandering onto the site on Thursday evening after driving up from London we decided to be a little bit posh and head to the onsite restaurant – this year hosted by the people from Blixen, where we had a proper sit down feast that involved steak, lamb and cheesecake, you don’t get this at Reading Festival. To celebrate the anniversary there was a spectacular fireworks display at the main arena on Thursday too, we’d already had an amazing time and the festival hadn’t even properly kicked off.
I love the Latitude site as it’s so easy to dash between the stages, especially handy when you’re schedule is as jam packed as ours was! the beautiful lake, which, in a smart move was open for swimming for the first time this year and the woods for exploring and discovering new stages and other happenings all help to add to the sites atmosphere.
The Friday morning started with a quick visit to the film tent to watch the short ‘For Life‘ then it was onto to the BBC 6 music tent where we listened to the chilled out sounds of Soak followed by The Districts, the Philadelphia band were one of my highlights of the weekend. Friday afternoon involved stumbling upon Clarence Clarity and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (the winner of most impressive band name of the weekend/year), we popped to the DIY hosted Alcove stage for the heartfelt, wistful tales from Iowa’s Max Jury. Another highlight from Friday was the wonderful set from Ezra Furman who had everybody in the iArena dancing to his rock n’roll carnival.
This year there was the addition of the Other Voices stage which was tucked away in the woods next to the lake swimming and proved to be one of my favourite stages, The little shed-like shack introduced me to All Tvvins who were ace! The Obelisk Arena welcomed Alt J as the Friday night headliners and although I can’t claim to have been a huge fan in the past they did win me over with an incredible show and the whole crowd singing along to ‘Breezeblocks’ at the end of the set was a beautiful moment!
After all the music had finished we wandered off into the woods to have a look around Grimms Faerie Tale, where lots of weird and wonderful performances and installations entertained people into the early hours. Oh and apparently some guy called Ed Sheeran turned up to sing a few songs with his guitar too.
Making sure Saturday started with a bang we headed to see Drenge on the 6 Music stage, they get better every time I see them and after watching them two years ago play the slightly more limited selection of songs they had in the iArena it was great to see them pack out the second biggest stage. Other highlights of Saturday included the unstoppable Wolf Alice, The Charlatans and Catfish & The Bottlemen – who must have drawn one of the biggest, most enthusiastic crowds of the weekend – and the 6 Music stage headliners The Vaccines, who we chose over Portishead who headlined at the Obelisk. We did leave the 6 Music tent a couple of times that day, once to watch Josef Salvat in the Alcove and once to get some of the amazing strawberries and chocolate….well, you, know, priorities. This festival has A LOT of (good) food, oh and a special mention to the best sausage roll I have eaten since having one in the same spot last year too.
Some other guy called Thom Yorke played some songs that weren’t Radiohead ones to some people in the woods on Saturday night too.
Sunday started at the Lake Stage where I caught Theo Verney play in the boiling sunshine before Kindness had everybody in the 6 Music tent dancing to his infectious sounds as he handed out fortune cookies to the crowd. It was then time for some Sunday afternoon nostalgia at the main stage with Bob & co at The Boomtown Rats…of course ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ provided a mass sing-along, that I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed. The rest of Sunday involved a bit of wandering and catching snippets from different stages, including Young Fathers, Eaves, Rat Boy, Years & Years, Warpaint and back to Other Voices for an epic performance from Mercury nominated East India Youth. I finished the festival’s anniversary year in a suitably nostalgic way, watching Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds play nearly all my favourite Oasis songs, including a rare performance of ‘Talk Tonight’ before ending in a mass arms-in-the-air-sing-along to ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. Latitude I applaud you yet again.
Here’s my top picks from the weekend:
- The Districts
- Ezra Furman
- All Tvvins
- Max Jury
- Sundara Karma
- Wolf Alice
- The Charlatans
- Catfish & The Bottlemen
- The Vaccines
- Rat Boy
- East India Youth
- Noel Gallagher